The temperatures are rising, college kids are leaving, and Sox fans are storming into town. That means it’s finally time to crank up the music guilt-free.
To help you survive this summer, we handpicked recommendations to get you through the heat based off personality types. It doesn’t matter if you’re the college grad working a vegan shop, a dad with two toddlers, the bro packing spliffs for a weekend hike, or a gal looking to party on through to September—we’ve got you covered (just maybe not on the sunscreen front).
ART SCHOOL IN THE SUMMER
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Spook the Herd – The Small Wins EP
Dice up your projects and dice up your music. Boston duo Spook the Herd combines numerous styles of music into its own hodgepodge of fuzz pop. Their debut EP The Small Wins drops June 17 via Exploding In Sound Records, but you can hear “Slurpee Surf,” where Palehound frontwoman Ellen Kempner provides sugary harmonies, now.
Get your fair share of colors with the psychedelic smatterings of the annual Boston Fuzzstival. August 19 and 20 will see the festival take over the Middle East Downstairs for $30 total. Brag about seeing Steep Leans, Mini Dresses, and the Monsieurs the next week between painting classes.
The Julie Ruin + Seth Bogart Show @ The Sinclair
On July 21, Kathleen Hanna and co. return to the Sinclair to give you all the inspiration you need. Rebel, you rebel. Get your Thursday night fix of punk rock and feminism via The Julie Ruin for a cheap $20, interpretative dance moves not included.
Your Favorite Band Is Killing Me by Steven Hyden
Maintaining that cool aura is tough when poptimism trends and hype bands fade fast. In his new book, Your Favorite Band Is Killing Me, Steven Hyden dives into pop rivalries and what they reveal about our taste, our personality, and our preferences. Pitting the Beatles against the Rolling Stones and Kanye West against Taylor Swift just got trickier.
FUN FOR THE WHOLE F’ING FAMILY
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Lady Pills – Despite
Local trio Lady Pills may be young, but the three are smarter than most Berklee kids. Their self-described “ugly pop” puts charm in between loose guitar chords so you can sing them on the way to GymIt or gym class alike. Preorder Despite before it drops July 8 via Babe City Records.
Newport Folk Festival
From July 22-24, a flurry of folk acts and rock legends will take over Rhode Island for another unforgettable weekend. Newport Folk Festival blends the line between parents and kids, letting you prop up a chair for acts like Fruit Bats as well as Patti Smith. After all, everyone is family at Newport Folk Festival.
Mitski + Japanese Breakfast + Jay Som @ Brighton Music Hall
Now that Puberty 2 is out, Mitski is taking the whole dang world by storm with her emotive, intense, honest songwriting. She knows how to rock and so do the acts she’s bringing with her on tour. It may be a weeknight, but bring the whole family to her show on June 22 because, really, getting that much empowerment and inspiration for $13 is a steal.
On Bowie by Rob Sheffield
David Bowie is more relevant now than ever before. Leave it to Rob Sheffield to pen On Bowie, a thoughtful, open, loving book on the life of the creative icon. Read it to your kids to explain the genius of Bowie, preferably just before bedtime so they can dream of the real Starman. Grab it when it comes out June 28.
ETERNAL CHILL, DUDE
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Floodwater – rhythm becomes deranged
No need to preorder this since it’s already out, but look, you forgot, okay? Between getting hammered by 5 pm on Memorial Day and rolling your fourth blunt today, you got too caught up in the electronic hip-hop instrumentals of Floodwater. The first moment you heard the funk basslines of rhythm becomes deranged, you knew you had to have it. Snag your copy via Bandcamp already.
Jamaica Plain Porchfest
No festival emphasizes chilling quite like this one. On Saturday, July 9, over 180 bands will kick their feet up on the porches of JP between noon and 6 pm. Forget about a schedule. Just follow the vibes. Put on a hat, lace up your comfiest sneakers, and crack open a beer (in secret, of course) while taking in the talent of your neighbors. That’s what Jamaica Plain Porchfest is all about.
Quilt + Widowspeak + Doug Tuttle @ The Sinclair
Nothing makes you want to jam like hearing the psych rock wobbles of Quilt, Widowspeak, and Doug Tuttle on the same night. Especially when they play the Sinclair on June 24. You’ll remember this one since it’s a Friday night at a doable time of 8 pm and—oh shit, it’s only $15?!
Never A Dull Moment: 1971 The Year That Rock Exploded by David Hepworth
What happened in 1971? All of your favs—Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Joni Mitchell, the Who—put out their best singles. David Hepworth was 21 years old that year, and he retells the magic of that music with the joy and passion of someone falling in love with it then, too. Never A Dull Moment: 1971 The Year That Rock Exploded is an homage to soul, R&B, and rock that changed music as we know it. In other words, you can’t put it down.
NO SLEEP SUMMER 2K16
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Dinosaur Jr. – Give a Glimpse of What Yer Not
It’s been four years since Massachusetts rockers Dinosaur Jr. last released an LP. The group’s next album drops August 5 via Jagjaguwar. The rock giants will craft the perfect blend of melodic hooks and blaring guitars once again, allowing you to show off your edgy side when driving through Allston with Give a Glimpse of What Yet Not blasting.
There’s no bigger music festival on the East Coast than Panorama. The festival celebrates its inaugural year July 22-24 on Randall’s Island in New York City. Saying everyone will be there is an understatement: LCD Soundsystem, Kendrick Lamar, Arcade Fire, Broken Social Scene? This is the party you’re looking for.
Anderson.Paak + Duckwrth + Pomo @ Paradise Rock Club
Fresh off the release of his critic-loved LP, Anderson.Paak is set to perform Malibu with help from the Free Nationals. The Cali rapper will show his speed live onstage on July 21. Tickets are only $20, and they will definitely go fast, so buy one now if you want to Snapchat “Am I Wrong” to your friends later.
Kanye West Owes Me $300: And Other True Stories from a White Rapper Who Almost Made It Big by Jensen Karp
Hot Karl was a Jewish rapper from LA that most of us forgot long ago. Think Vanilla Ice and Eminem with even less talent, but, as it turns out, plenty of good fodder for a book. Jensen Karp’s memoir will keep you laughing—and your friends. It’s full of stories worth retelling at boozy rooftop parties. What else do you expect from a book titled Kanye West Owes Me $300?